Five neighborhood vigils in Palo Alto commemerated the anniversary of war last night - 19th March. This is a first where palo altans meet together in their neighborhoods to express their demand for this war to end and for the US troops to come home. There were from 30 to 75 people at each vigil many of them making a public expression for the first time.
Coordinated by MoveOn vigils were held in Midtown, Bowden Park, Town & Country & the City Hall Plaza. A vigil was also sponsored by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice at First United Methodist Church.
Some poingnant moments included "a special moment in Midtown when a woman saw our vigil and came over to tell us about her son-in-law (a Native American) who is back from Iraq, having nightmares, and facing a possible re-deployment. She thanked us for being there, and working to end the war. She described the painful effect the war and her son-in-law's deployment is having upon her entire
A mother of a marine who came with some trepidation to the City Plaza told of her anxiety for her son who is in his third term in Iraq and his friends who joined up to serve their country not expecting such a war. She appealed to everyone to have a care for soldiers as they return home.
At Bowden Park demonstrators met around a Peace sign made of flowers. They waved their banners at passing motorists on Alma. Demonstrators at El Camino got a lot of support from honking motorists.
The City Hall Vigil stood in a circle and each person spoke up about why they were there and what action they would like to see happen. Bring the troops home was an overwhelming feeling. One person talked about the establishment of a Department of Peace. Another called on people to withdraw bank accounts from banks that are funding and profiting from this war. There was a call to get Democrats in Congress to shoulder their responsibility for ending this war.
This vigil was attended by Peter Drekmeyier and Dana Mossar from the City Council. Peter expressed support for the vigil and reminded citizens that they could address the council at Council meetings about their concerns.